Simple Steps On How To Keep Your Kids Away From Junk Food
Junk food creates a huge number of health issues for both adults and kids. Yet, we can’t seem to get enough of junk food. They always win over healthy stuff because they are tastier and easily available at your local supermarket. However, a rise in child obesity worldwide has made parents more aware and concerned about the health of their children. It is not easy to make your kids switch over to healthier options overnight. What you can do instead is try to wean them slowly to better choices as you enlighten them about the goodness of healthy food. Here are some points that will help you keep your kids away from junk food.
Teach When They Are Young
If you are a new parent or your kids are still quite young to understand the difference between junk and healthy food, this is for you. Teaching them from a young age about how good fruits and vegetables and real food is. Ideally, this is the best way to make your kids aware of what is good for their body. However, as they grow up looking at other kids and commercials, they might want to have fast food. Explain to them what is good for them and how, for example, a carrot is good for the eyes, milk is good for the bones, on the other hand, deep fried goods might be tasty, but are high on calories without any nutrients.
Be Their Role Model
It goes without saying that kids follow their parents. If you have a lot of fast food at home, that is how your kids will learn to have it as they emulate their parents. As a role model for your kids, it is important to teach them the right things, by doing them yourself. If you want them to eat healthy food, you must do so yourself. Eat them in front of your kids and encourage them to eat them too. Also, make sure you eat more at home and limit eating out to once a week or month. This will encourage your child to do the same as they grow up. Teach them to cook with you, make cooking an enjoyable family activity – and they would never find home-cooked food boring.
Don’t Use Junk Food As Bribe
As parents, we often bribe our kids, with junk food, like chips, chocolate, fries, etc in lieu of homework or assignment done in time or even for helping in household chores. However, when we do so, our children get the message that it is alright to eat junk food. If you want to reward them, give them something that is more worthwhile! For example for household chores set up a piggy bank and keep adding to the fund whenever they complete tasks. For completing homework, let them play outside in the playground for an extra hour. These are more constructive rewards that will be good for their body too.
Make Their Meals Rich In Protein
Protein is critical for our growth and nobody needs it more than our kids. Make their meals rich in protein. It has also been found that protein reduces food cravings. A breakfast rich in protein is very important for the children. Plan your meals accordingly and include eggs, milk, soy, sprouts, lentils, meat and fish in their meals, to make sure they have the right kind of nutrition.
Cut Them Some Slack At Times
Just like we, adults get bored with the same food, over and again, so do the kids. In fact, their patience level is even less so, they get bored easily too. Hence, make sure you have lots of variety when planning meals for your kids, without compromising the health factor. If you can come up with healthy substitutes for junk food, then they would never want to have fast food at all. However, experts believe it is alright to cut them some slack once in a while and hence you can have a cheat day when they can have food of their choice with the pocket money you give them. Make sure to moderate the portions though.
Children are what we make them, hence it is no use blaming them for the bad habits they grow up with. We shoudl take responsibility for it and try to teach them the right things from an early age.
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